In this revised second edition, Fernandez, Goldberg (The New Executive Brain, 2009, etc.), and Michelon (Max Your Memory, 2011) provide extensive information to help readers optimize their brain power and performance.
“Your brain is your most precious asset, and it is wise to invest in it,” the authors write. Using charts, drawings, and up-to-date scientific studies, they present the case that any brain, at any age, can change for the better. That may be particularly good news for baby boomers who assumed that they could do nothing to limit their risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. The brain, the authors write, is highly dynamic and constantly reorganizing, and it can be shaped and reshaped across a person’s entire lifespan. The authors suggest myriad activities to help the process along, including physical exercise to help generate new brain cells; a diet high in vegetables, fruit, cereals and unsaturated fats; and a variety of mental exercises. Educational and career activities, as well as stimulating leisure pursuits such as reading, playing card games, doing puzzles and participating in organized discussions can also help build one’s brain. The authors also cite studies that show that musical training, learning a new language, and even playing certain types of video games can help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. They also discuss at length the value of meditation to train one’s emotional responses and focus one’s attention. This isn’t a book for readers who are looking for a simplified how-to manual. Lay readers may find that the multitude of studies and occasionally academic prose make this book more of a reference than a cover-to-cover read. That said, casual readers may consult the bulleted chapter highlights at the end of each chapter to glean the most salient information, and read interviews with experts who authored studies cited in the book.
A stimulating, challenging resource, full of solid information and practical tips for improving brain health.